Electronic media today influences the behaviour of young people. The use of iPods, televisions, cell phones, computers and video game systems is widespread due to the advancement of media technology. Urbanization and scarcity of land have led many families to lack essential facilities in their neighbourhood such as playgrounds making many youths spend more of their time at home on media up to four hours every day. Parents prefer to make their kids occupied through the video games and allow them to have enough time to work however they disregard the addiction effect the games have on the youth (Hartmann and Peter, p. 97). They end up watching or playing violent video games that have effects on them. The paper will focus on the pros and cons of violent video games among young people.
Violent video games develop different real-life skills in a player. When one plays a video game, he or she utilises the right side of the brain hence making it active. The right side of the brain is responsible for functions such as music awareness, imagination, creativity, art awareness, left-hand control and holistic thought. Therefore, a child playing a violent game is likely to be more creative and innovative than one who is not. The child could also be a better performer in school than one who does not indulge in video games.
There are situations that young people get upset and angry and some may end up channelling the negative energy to bullying or fighting their peers in school or at home. Violent video games enable the youth to relieve their tensions, frustrations, anger and anxiety without hurting other people. It also offers them a safe and controlled environment to calm down instead of making the wrong decisions. On the other hand, the games enable the young people to be aggressive or improve their aggressiveness (Adachi and Teena, p. 58). It enables them to be focused on their goals and have the determination to meet them in the end.
When playing a game, one is very keen and a fast thinker to ensure that he scores all or most of the moves required to play the next level. The violence and need to be fast thinker make the player’s adrenaline level rise and leads to quick decision making. The increase of adrenaline levels delays the ageing process of the young players as well as improve their decision-making skills. Adrenaline levels also make the player to enhance their performance as they manage to work under pressure, strengthen their immune system as games are forms of exercises and have more confidence in making achievements.
Every move in a game has a repercussion on the player’s performance. Violent games enable players to learn the importance of adhering to rules in the game because when he or she defies them, one loses points and has to repeat it. The player learns the importance of following instructions and adhering to particular rules as they have consequences. The young people who play violent video games are therefore likely to adhere to rules better than those who do not play.
In the health industry, violent video games have been used in the treatment of patients. Neurodermatitis, cancer and sickle cell disease are some of the illnesses that have been treated through the use of games on a patient. Some medical procedures are painful to patients especially the young people thus making it hard to treat them appropriately without a way of distracting their attention from the pain. Violent video games are used on patients to divert their attention from treatment and offer medical practitioners and easy time to treat them. Young people who are handicapped or have attention deficit disorders are also treated using the games as a way of exercising their bodies and mind.
Young people are at risk of peer influence, especially during their adolescent stage. Some young people end up messing their lives at this stage by indulging in drug abuse, crime or sexual immorality. When they use their leisure time to play video games, they limit their chances of engaging with the wrong friends or peer groups. Therefore, they can make the right decisions in their lives and avoid issues such as dropping out of school or living in a rehab.
Violent video games have their downside on young people despite offering them some benefits. Young people easily imitate the people or videos they watch as a way of relating to trendy issues. Violent games, therefore, can affect the behaviour of a player as the young person may end up imitating the actions he or she sees in the video games. Violent video games make the players perceive violence as fun and entertaining. It affects the behaviour of the players as they end up behaving violently as a way of entertaining themselves. It could lead to hurting other people or killing them while mimicking the video game characters.
Young people love playing violent video games as they rejuvenate them and act as a form of entertainment. The young people, however, end up being addicted to the games and lose self-control on other essential activities such as working on school assignments. The youth end up losing most of their time as they place most of their attention on the games. They also gain unhealthy lifestyles from the playing the games as they stay most of the time indoors instead of spending their time outdoors playing. Lack of physical exercise makes the youth increase in body weight which poses health risks to them (Ferguson, p. 68). Obesity is the cause of many illnesses today such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Violent video games, therefore, can make a young person worsen his or her health and contract lifestyle diseases at an early age.
Violence in a video game is visual, and it can make the player immerse into having a violent character. Some of the advanced games have peripherals and controllers that make the player physically engage in the game and act as one of the characters. Repeated playing of the violent video game makes the young player get used to the character’s personality, and in real life, he or she may find oneself acting similarly to the character (Saleem, Craig and Douglas, p.266). The character immersion leads to violence in the child hence making it wrong to allow young people to play violent video games.
Violent video games make a player become aggressive and learn how to fight back to gain what they want. However, it makes the player lack the ability to reason first before fighting back which is likely to affect the young people. A violent game player can fight back when angered or when someone fails him or her instead of first understanding the reason why situations turned as they are. They get frustrated quickly and are quick to judge the opponent when defeated. The youth, therefore, could engage in fights and be quick to judge others when they could be the ones in the wrong due to indulgence in violent video games.
Violent video games encourage the youth to engage in crime. Games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Wolfenstein 3D make players to wound, kill or maim the opponents. Some of the violent video games have been used in military training to induce a way of fighting back enemies in the trainees (Markey, Charlotte and Juliana, p. 277). The same effect they have affects the youth who play the games hence making it dangerous to allow young people to play them without the control of an adult. The players embrace the violent acts, and some of them join criminals in the society and kill people from the different moves they learn in the games. The players also become affected in the future as they end up in prisons due to their violence or criminal activities.
Violent video games make the player to make different movements especially when one is using peripherals and controllers. Wrong sitting postures and repetitive straining of various muscles of the body such as the neck, wrist and elbow leads to pain. A player, however, has to keep altering the position of the arms or neck when fighting or scoring the opponent. Unfortunately, the player can be susceptible to painful joints that need medical attention to heal. On the other hand, the use of computers or phones for long can lead to seizures and make one end up with epilepsy.
Young people today are playing violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto and Mortal Kombat. Parents prefer allowing their children engage in the games as a way of keeping them entertained and avoiding negative peer influence in the neighbourhood. They have positive and negative effects on players. Violent video games enable the youth to be fast thinkers, have avenues to express their anger, learn to adhere to rules to avoid consequences and develop skills such as creativity and strategic thinking. They, however, make the player violent, can influence a player to engage in crime and make the player perceive violence as fun which could lead to injuring other people. Parents need to be keen on the activities their children engage in to ensure they do not harm their lives or change their behaviour negatively.
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Markey, Patrick M., Charlotte N. Markey, and Juliana E. French. “Violent video games and real-world violence: Rhetoric versus data.” Psychology of Popular Media Culture 4.4 (2015): 277.
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